Are bullfinch numbers improving? I haven't seen any for years but I saw several near Bamburgh in December 2021, a group at Rainton Meadows (Durham Wildlife Trust) near Sunderland a couple of weeks ago and now a pair on the coast at Seaham (also Co. Durham) .Pleasing if they are.

All the best,


  • Hi Alyson, I have also seen more bullfinches lately - alone, in pairs, in small groups and in larger groups with chaffinches. This is on the south east coast of Scotland. I don't know whether their numbers are increasing or they have moved more into the open for some reason.
  • Morning Alyson, DB,

    The 2021 European Red List have them as increasing in numbers (although I've already read some well-founded criticism of the list). See page 47 of the report, which you can find here: https://www.birdlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/BirdLife-European-Red-List-of-Birds-2021.pdf.

    Here (Switzerland) numbers appear (at a glance) to be declining. See here: https://www.vogelwarte.ch/en/projects/population-trends/breeding-bird-index/#eurasian-bullfinch.

    Not sure why, although we're behind the UK in the agricultural intensification process. I can enquire if you like. Just let me know. 

    Personally, we see a lot, and local numbers (at around 840 m above) appear to be growing.

    They come and eat plum buds in the spring. Which means less plum jam, but more "oohs" and "aahhs".

    Best regards - 


  • We are lucky in thst we have had at least 3 pair nesting in the grounds around our little estate but we do seem to be seeing and hearing them more when round and about. We did wonder if this was because recently we have been birding more local sreas rather than the nearby moorland we normally visit. It seems others are seeing more Bullfinch so maybe they have had a couple of good breeding years, good news if this is so


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can